In the run up to the Maverick Race I really got into hitting the trails. Dr W and I chose to mix up our trail runs, instead of sticking to the Malvern Hills we got exploring. Our last run before the race was in the picturesque Cotswolds.
We got up early and drove the half an hour or so to Broadway. We found a long stay carpark just off the main road, which wasn’t too expensive. I’d packed my vest, a map of the Cotswolds (always a must) and running kit for all weather possibilities. We started in the rain, but then finished in the sun so this was a good shout!
From the carpark we walked (as a warm up) to join the Cotswold Way. Having heard good things about the Cotswold Way (home to the ultra marathon of dreams I plan to take on next summer – Race to the Tower) I was looking forward to a well trodden path to run on. But as a keen trail runner I should have guessed that this wasn’t going to happen for the entire run. Annoyingly the start of the run was rainy/humid, not ideal. But as it was a Sunday Long Run, we kept our pace slow.
Admittedly for the part of our run where we were on the Cotswold Way it was a great path. We followed it until we reached Snowshill. Fun fact, the village church is from Bridget Jones Diary. Also on a side note it really is a pretty place, previously we’ve visited National Trust’s Snowshill Manor and I’d really recommend a visit if you’re in the area. After we ran through the village the route then took us through Broadway Wood. This on the OS map looked to have a great path (and eventually it did) but we had to do some bush whacking to get there. Cue me being soaked through up to the belly button from dewy overgrown grass!
At this point the up hill began, as we were running up to the ridge to run back towards Broadway Tower. This was tough work but I knew the views were gonna be worth it. The weather at this point has started to warm up and get sunnier, making the effort trickier. I must admit when we got to the Broadway Tower visitors centre I felt completely relieved. As this point meant we just had to go straight along to the tower then pick up the Cotswold Way back down hill to Broadway. We were on the home straight!
After stopping to take in the views and have a little break, we then ran down the hill, although this was interrupted by styles/gates every few hundred metres. In hindsight this was great prep for the last bit of my Maverick Race. This was my longest run on my new watch, but not my longest run overall. It was a lovely day even though we did have a bit of a nightmare with one bit of the route. We celebrated with breakfast and we’ve decided to try and improve the route as we’re back in the Cotswolds a week today! I can’t wait to explore again!